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Judge James Long

1937 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Judge James Long Obituary
Judge James Monroe Long


Retired Superior Court Judge James Monroe Long, 80, of Caswell County, North Carolina, died Saturday, August 5, 2017 at Alamance Caswell Hospice Home of Burlington. The cause of his death was Congestive Heart Failure following a long battle with leukemia and other illnesses.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Catherine Carden Long, his son and daughter-in-law, J. David Long and Lynn B. Long of Greensboro; his daughter, Mary C. Long of Wilmington; and his four grandchildren, Andrew, Molly and Sarah Long of Greensboro and Cullen Nowicki of Wilmington. He is also survived by his sister and brother-in-law, Elizabeth (Lib) and Jerry L. Cole of Eatonton, GA; and sisters-in-law, Barbara C. Kane of Charlotte and Ruth R. Long of New Bern, along with a number of nieces and nephews.

Born February 16, 1937 in Danville, VA, he was the son of W. Taylor Long and Mabel S. Long and grew up at the family farm in the Semora community which is now his residence.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, Frances L. Josey and a brother, William T. Long.

The family will receive visitors on Wednesday evening, August 9th, between 5 and 7 p.m. at Wildwood, the Long Family residence in Caswell County. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, August 10th at Red House Presbyterian Church, N.C. Highway 119, Semora, NC, with burial in the church cemetery to follow.

Judge Long, known by most as "Jim", attended Caswell County schools and graduated from Bartlett Yancey High School where he was student body president and valedictorian of his class. In 1955 he enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a Morehead Scholar and received a degree in political science in 1959. While there he was Manager of the UNC football team, a member of Chi Psi fraternity and president of the Student Council. During that period, he also served as president of the statewide Methodist Youth Fellowship. In 1960 he enrolled in the School of Law at UNC and obtained an LLB degree in 1963. He was a member of Phi Delta Phi legal fraternity. He served as a law clerk for NC Supreme Court Justice Clifton Moore for a year following law school graduation.

Returning to his Caswell County home in 1964, he began practicing law in Roxboro, NC with the James Ramsey law firm. He was elected Caswell County Recorder's Court Judge that year, a part time position he held until 1970 when he was appointed by Governor Robert Scott to fill the unexpired seat of Superior Court Judge Allen Gwyn. He held the position of Superior Court Judge of the 17th district from 1970-1994, during which time he was the Vice President of the North Carolina Bar Association, President of the NC Conference of Superior Court Judges, and a member of the executive committee for the National Conference of Trial Judges. During his tenure as a judge, he was appointed by the Supreme Court Chief Justice to preside over a number of high profile cases, including the Klan-Nazi trial in Greensboro and the trial of Lieutenant Governor Jimmy Green in Raleigh. During that time, he and his family lived primarily in Pilot Mountain, Surry County, NC, while still maintaining his family home and ties to the Caswell County community.

Upon his retirement, Judge Long embarked upon a second career as a mediation attorney from 1994-2009, helping to draft the Rules of Mediated Settlement Conferences adopted by the Supreme Court of NC. In 2010, Judge Long accepted an appointment as interim District Attorney for the 9th Prosecutorial District, comprised of Caswell and Person Counties, and served in that capacity for 10 months.

Judge Long has at various times held the leadership positions of President of the Caswell County Jaycees, Board Chairperson of the Pilot Mountain Foundation, Chairperson of the First United Methodist Church Board of Trustees in Pilot Mountain, Chairperson of the Boy Scout Troop Committee in Pilot Mountain, Member of the Executive Committee for the Old Hickory Council of the BSA. He was instrumental in the development and construction of the Pilot Mountain Civic Center and helped initiate the Habitat for Humanity Program in Pilot Mountain. More recently, Jim served as Elder of the Red House Presbyterian Church in Semora, Chairperson for the Caswell County Forestry Association, President of the North Carolina Tree Foresters Program, and in one of his proudest honors, received the award as Tree Farmer of the Year for the state of North Carolina in 2014.

Among other honors bestowed on him are the Citizen of the Year Award, Pilot Mountain, NC; NC Governor's Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service; Silver Beaver Award, Old Hickory Council, BSA; 2010 Peace Award from the Dispute Resolution Section of the NC Bar Association; and the Order of the Long Leaf Pine.

Before his illness limited his activity, Judge Long was active as a church and community volunteer. He and his wife made weekly Meals on Wheels deliveries and he enjoyed learning woodworking skills as a student at Alamance Community College.
Published in The News & Observer on Aug. 7, 2017
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